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TrackMan Golf: Build a Better Understanding

Many golfers who have actually been on TrackMan absolutely love the training options the unit provides. Unfortunately not every golfer truly understands the importance of practicing with one and how it can improve your golf swing.  Being able to gather accurate data concerning the flight of your ball is a essential part of being able to play golf more consistently.  The only way to gather that type of information is from using the premier golf swing analysis software available to golfers.  TrackMan Golf is the industries best when it comes to club delivery and measuring actual ball fight.  Here are a few essential data points collected and necessary information for golfers to understand.  Learn these and you can improve your golf scores.

  • Being able to accurately determine how far each club actually travels is an essential part of being able to hit the ball closer to the pin or over hazards.  Most golfers only know how far the total distance is but not how far the ball carries.  Knowing how far the ball carries is more important then knowing how far the ball rolls out.  That is because the roll of the golf ball is going to change from course to course based on how soft or hard the conditions are.  So knowing that a driver for instance rolls out 275 yards but only carries 250 yards, helps make the decision of not trying to carry a bunker which is 260 yards away not only easy but extremely smart.
  • Knowing and ensuring that a golfer has consistent yardage gaps between all their clubs is necessary information.  What we don’t want is having a couple of clubs overlap or only have a few yards between them.  Having two clubs that basically go the same distance is ineffective in the grand scheme of things.
  •  TrackMan Golf helps ensure the science behind the ball-flight is maximized.  This is especially important in being able to hit the ball not only straight but also the furthest.  We as golfers have a specific preference to a manufacture but TrackMan really doesn’t care what manufacture you play.  It only provides you data concerning the ball flight.  So using a golf swing analysis software like TrackMan Golf can help you not only improve your golf game but improve your golf scores.
  • TrackMan Golf measures the most important aspect of the golf swing, the collision between the golf club and golf ball.  Precisely knowing this information and gaining a greater understanding of impact, makes improvement not only easier but potentially faster.  Just using your eyes to determine the mistake at impact, it virtually impossible because of the speed in which that is happening.

Using TrackMan Golf for improving the way a golfer practices is a valuable asset in building ball control skills.  TrackMan Golf tracks the flight of each shot, separates the various clubs being used so that the golfer can review all the data collected.  This is a amazing feature when it comes to building skill based on hitting stock shots or working the golf ball at various distances.

  • See how good you are in controlling the flight of your golf ball at different distances.  You can also see how good you are at hitting specialty shots.
  • Compare your game to those golfers throughout the world.  This is especially important for those golfers who are serious about taking their game to the next level.  Knowing where you stand against other helps you learn exactly what is needed to improve your game.  http://trackman.dk/Products/TrackMan-Pro/Combine.aspx
  • Competitive junior golfers who are looking to play at elite colleges will learn where they stand by taking the TrackMan combine test.  This combine test is something college coaches are looking at when it comes to recruiting.  http://trackman.dk/Customers/University-new.aspx
New for the 2012 golf season is being able to rent TrackMan out for your practice sessions.  You know can use and improve your game with this game changing technology.  For more information on this please visit www.DennisSalesGolf.com

These are only a few features that TrackMan offers.  To learn more about the benefits of incorporating TrackMan into your game visit www.TrackMan.dk 

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Get Your Putter Rolling the Rock

Every time I get asked to give a putting lesson to a student who is struggling, I find that either their speed, line or even both are off.  It’s off because they have gotten away from creating a good set-up at address.  Follow these training concepts and create a perfect practice station.  You will soon find yourself rolling the rock like never before.  You’re going to need a few simple tools to accomplish this.  A Swinkey and six tees will work perfectly.

  1. First you are going to create a “gate” for the putter to swing through.  Use the two tees and position them just outside the toe and heel of the putter.  This is going to force you to create center face contact, a must in being able to consistently control distance.
  2. Place the first alignment rod parallel to your target and just outside the tee that you have marked at the toe of the putter.  This rod is going to help you see what type of arc you’re creating.  Ideally I would like to see similarity between the back swing and follow through during the stroke.
  3. Use the main body of the Swinkey parallel to your target line but just in front of your toes.  This will help you stand the same distance away from the ball.  I don’t want you to either get to close or more away from the ball during this skill building sessions.
  4. The second alignment rod will go through the main body of the Swinkey and point directly at the golf ball.  This will help you maintain the relationship the ball towards your lead foot.
  5. Almost done, place two tees a little wider than ball widths 12″ in front and just outside your intended line of flight.  The will force you to learn how to get the ball to roll through them.  If you really struggle with the distance these two tees are set at, then open them up some.  Your goal will be to work on tightening up that distance and it will as your skill improve.
  6. Finally, the last set of tees.  I want you to place it these tees at various distances with a maximum of 12″ apart.  Your final goal will be to roll the golf ball between these tees.  Continuously move these tees to various distances.  Watch what happens to your ball control skills when you’re able to master this drill.

How important is Off-Season Work

I find that the off-season is the absolute best time to work on improving the mechanics of your swing.  Changing the mechanics of the swing also must coincide with what the student’s goals are and how much time they are willing to put into the equation. Trying to change a technical aspect in somebody’s golf swing during the season on a Wednesday for instance and they are playing golf on Saturday isn’t fair.  It’s not fair for the instructor or for the golfer.  This in my opinion is where golf instruction fails and where coaching thrives.  That I’ll explain another time.

What every golfer needs to understand is that you are ultimately being judged on your ability to control the flight of the golf ball from tee to green and not the motion of the swing.  If you keep that in mind you are well on your road in starting to shoot lower scores.  If you plan on making any swing changes those changes better be a result of improving a ball flight and not fitting into the method of your instructor.  We all have seen it week in and week out, all touring professional have their own unique style in swinging the club.  They have learned to develop the skills necessary to control their ball and you are no different.

Improving your motion is also best done without you seeing the flight of the golf ball.  The key word is YOU!  The instructor must have a tool to precisely measure your impact alignments because those impact alignments control the flight of the ball.  If you don’t believe me, research the D-Plane yourself.  The D-Plane is ball flight law on center face hits.  Tools that accurately measure impact alignments make working indoors well worth it.

Lastly, using a stat tracking program such as Shot-by-Shot during the season makes figuring out what YOU need in the off-season easy.  These stats help a coach create your program for improvement.  Without stats it’s almost like shooting in the dark!  If you don’t have stats, start researching Shot-by-Shot and get on it.  It will be well worth your time and I’m pretty certain it could open your eyes to what you truly need.  Why do I say this?  I have student’s using Shot-by-Shot now and it has changed what my students now want from me.  That and most students are not honest with what they really need.  I have learned what golfers’ want isn’t exactly what they need.  Now since we are in the off-season and you probably have no stats, so we really don’t know what you need.  This is where getting some type of ball control skills testing is a must!  That test will help direct you in a direction to start your off-season improvement program.

What Makes Indoor Training Worth It

As winter seems to be settling in here in the North East, we find ourselves having to make a decision on how or will we continue with our training.  I find that it’s important for golfers to take a short break, and then continue to work on their swing during the offseason.  Especially, if you want to hit next year’s golf season in full stride, rather than struggling through the first few months.

As you decide on where or even if you’ll continue to practice and take lessons, you need to think about a few things first.  Indoor training means having a limited ball flight.  Working on your swing while hitting a ball into a net, really allows the golfer to focus on the movement more than the flight of the ball.  Is that entirely a good thing?  I tend to think so, but only up to a certain point.  Ultimately what we want to improve is the flight of the golf ball but what if there is no flight?  Even a perfectly felt shot that has a few degrees closed club face turns out to be a poor shot on the golf course especially if your path is right at the target.

This is where indoor training can be tricky and actually hurt the golfer.  Let’s assume that you have a perfectly looking golf swing on video.  Each shot feels really flush and smacks the net over and over again.  The swing feels good and looks good on video.  Man you are now grooving what you think is a great swing.  April now comes around, your first round of golf out on the golf course and you are so excited about this golf season.  You tee up your golf ball, make that same great swing, and low and behold a low pull hook to the left.  You will automatically think where that came from since you have been hitting it pure all winter long.  But have you really?  Or have you been creating that specific ball flight?  We as golfers are only really judged on your ability to control the ball and put it into the hole in the least amount of shots.  Not on how good your swing looks.  The number one thing you need to understand is that what you are trying to do change or even create in your golf swing is directly related to the flight of the golf ball.  What the ball does is the most important aspect and it absolutely can’t be left out of the equation.  So before you start getting into a training program ask yourself these few questions.

  1. What will be measuring the clubs data? 
  2. How will I know where the ball went?
  3. How will my progress be tracked?
  4. How will I know that I’m working on the right motion to improve my ball flight if I can’t see where the ball ends up?

Please don’t think I don’t like the indoor concept cause I really feel it has some major benefits.  You just really need to research what the facility is offering in being able to accurately measure the most important aspect of the swing.  That is the collision between the club and ball.  Simulators are great fun and can be entertaining but some of them really don’t tell the truth behind the flight.  I’m sure you know exactly what I mean if you have been on one.  Have you not laughed at the distance it gave you, especially after you felt a terrible shot?  Then you know exactly what I mean.

Using K-Vest for Pitch Motion

K-Vest is such a great universal tool in helping golfers improve.   I find it especially helpful in building a consistent set-up while we focus our attention on another task.   Here I’m using it with a junior, what we are trying to focus on is creating a solid pitch motion.  Having K-Vest working in the background allows the student to develop the skill of getting into the same set-up.  That then provides them a greater chance of being able to create a fundamentally sound pitch motion.  What it does between us is it keeps the unnecessary shatter out of the equation.  Now the conversation remains on developing pitch motion as well as keeping his mind focused on the new feelings he’s generating.

I’ve found that multi-tasking this way and keeping the dialogue to what’s necessary really helps the student figure out exactly what they need to do.  Ensuring that they hit the essential skill associated with a pitch motion and allowing them to add their own unique twist to the equation works best.  I have yet to see any two touring professionals create the same motion.  At the same time I have yet to see them not perform some of the essential skills necessary to control the golf ball.